Have You Taken “Gambler’s Education Course-101?

The state of Oklahoma was assured that the lottery and casinos’ tax revenue would serve as a sufficient solution to the state’s financial needs for education. The governor and many of the media boasted and proclaimed of the anticipated benefits.
Another leader, Jesus Christ, once stated: “So then you will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:20). With this principle serving as a foundation for testing, the State of Oklahoma has the information for a good education in the fruit-bearing facts of the lottery, casinos, and gambling patterns among its people.
Class assembly for this educational course came at an Indian gaming conference held in Oklahoma City this summer. Annette Carrierre, a counselor and instructor, spoke to those attending “about addicted gamblers who stay at the machines for hours on end, or prostitute themselves in order to pay their way, or who wind up losing everything they have because of their addiction.”1 The number who enroll for this educational bonanza on gambling is on the rise! Carrierre affirmed that there are over 100,000 problem gamblers now in Oklahoma.
Michael Smith, who heads the Oklahoma Association for Problem and Compulsive Gambling, stated that since 2004, when voters approved the lottery, “he has seen a marked increase in the number of those with ‘significant’ gambling problems.” (10A).
The Oklahoman further reports that $750,000 per year is taken from the lottery proceeds, directing it toward the gambling addiction programs. (This reminds me of the tobacco industry, warning us that its product is dangerous and even deadly for the health of its users!).
A few months ago the state doubled its certified gambling addiction therapists from 2 to 4, seeking to better manage its growing gambling problems! Now let’s check this--When the state has a growing problem, that is a blessing to the state?? Have people ever been so duped that they call evil good (Isaiah 5:20)??
Tony Thorton, from The Oklahoman, pointed out that in 2006 there were “more than 45,200 machines in the state’s 97 casinos--one for every 79 residents.” (10A). This state may be short on school desks and supplies, but it certainly has plenty gambling machines--and the people love to have it so (see Jer.5:31), because per capita the amount spent last year “at casinos, pari-mutual race tracts and on the lottery was $617.87--double the national average.” (10A). This state has gotten an education in gambling rather than education being benefited from gambling!
To anyone who might insinuate this article ignores all the millions of dollars that have gone to education, I respond from an ethical standpoint in the words of Jesus, “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26 KJV). In this case, not just one soul, but at least 100,000 souls are in jeopardy in this state unless they change their lifestyle! The Gambler and pro-gambling arguments lose again!

1 “Hooked,” The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, October 19, 2007, 10A